Old is relative.
I can remember thinking my dad was old when he turned 50. While I might look old to my kids I don’t feel old. When I look in the mirror each morning I still see the person I saw yesterday and he doesn’t look any older than he did the day before.
Home is the best place on earth.
I have been lucky enough to travel the world for the last 12 years, I’ve seen several beautiful places, enjoyed the history, beer, wine and cheese of Europe, the stunning peace and tranquility of the beaches in Indonesia, the poverty and despair of Third World and the home town values and hospitality of nearly every state in our most beautiful country. After all this time and all of these miles the trip I look most forward to is the one that takes me home.
Pain is temporary, pride is forever.
While this was the motto of my favorite football team it has also become one that means a lot to me. In my 50 years I have learned that the accomplishments I am most proud of took some work and some pain. Some time away from the people I love the most and the emotional ups and downs that come with walking out on what most people saw as security to prove my experience and what I had to offer the world was not only useful but unique and necessary. If there were a mathematical equation for success, pain would likely be a denominator.
Happiness is a state of mind.
The one thing I have learned that helped me the most in life was that I have the ability to wake each morning and make the decision that I am going to have a good day. I am going to be positive and I am going to look for the best things in every situation I encounter. Learning is always a positive thing, even when we learn things the hard way. Several years ago we watched a close friend die from an invasive brain tumor, in the hours before this death, we talked, listened to John Lennon tunes, laughed, smiled and even had a tail gate BBQ outside his room. When T. Statt died he was happy. If he could be happy in the hours before his death, I know I can be happy in life.
Dogs make me laugh.
I don’t know what it is about dogs, some are really smart, some never learn to sit or come when called, but most every dog I meet can make me laugh. They can be smart, stupid, big, small, hairy or semi-bald like Rayba; I’m a sucker when it comes to dogs. Like I said, they make me laugh.
If you want to fall in love again, just go to a wedding.
Leslie and I have been married 28 years, for as long as I can remember we have always been in love. But If I want to feel that overwhelming emotion that comes the day you get married and the day you welcome your children into the world I only need to go to a wedding. Weddings make me cry, they bring back the emotion I remember feeling when I looked into her eyes and Monsignor Shannon started saying the vows.
Nothing on earth is more important and nothing on earth gives me more pride or satisfaction than my extended family.
I have been fortunate in life to have a lot of friends, I have several very close friends from school and childhood, and I have friends from work and friends I have made working with customers all over the world. While I love my friends, I rely on my family. I am the person I am today because of my family. My mom and dad, brothers, sister, in-laws, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins, we all share a bond, being a Plucknette is special, especially in a town called Spencerport, NY. Not only is Spencerport someplace special, it’s where my family is from.
My family makes me complete.
My wife and my children and the life we have made for each other are what make me feel complete. I am both happy and successful, more important I am loved. My family gives me love. On the best and the worst days I have always been proud of my family and our home. When I was 25 I remember wondering how it was that my father could be so smart, 25 years later I know the secret. Being a husband and a father makes you smart, there is no school, no book or course, smart comes from just being there. Picking them up when they fall, drying the tears when they cry, the joy and laughter that comes with learning and love. The worry of big steps like the first day of school, acceptance of friends, the teen years and their first loves. The pain that hits you deep when they turn their back on your love and advice, the heartache and pride of sending them off to college and most important the joy, love and pride of being a witness to the miracle. This is the day the light comes on, the day we first understand that while mom and dad may have made some mistakes along the way but WOW, they are pretty smart people! Loving your children makes you smart. When I wake up and I am home I am so thankful, when I wake up and I am not, I count the days and look forward to walking through the front door.
My favorite day is Sunday, we all have breakfast together and Leslie and I get to enjoy our children being together. Life is good, but love, well love is great!
In 25 years I learned what John Lennon and Paul McCartney told us all years ago. All you need is love, Love is all you need!
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